The man who ran onto the field during the Women’s Champions League match between Chelsea and Juventus may escape serious trouble, after a legal loophole was revealed.
Aside from being banned from Chelsea matches by the club and perhaps some bruises after being sent flying by Kerr’s shoulder, it looks unlikely that the man will face any other consequences.
READ MORE: Clubs fume at botched Champions League draw
READ MORE: Why Cummins outfoxed Root in Ashes opener
London’s Metropolitan Police have confirmed that the pitch invader would not face any charges – but why?
As explained in a column on The Athletic, the law in question – section 4 of the 1991 Football (Offences) Act – say you can be arrested if you enter the playing area.
“It is an offence for a person at a designated football match to go onto the playing area, or any area adjacent to the playing area to which spectators are not generally admitted, without lawful authority or lawful excuse (which shall be for him to prove),” it reads.
However – the term ‘designated football match’ in that paragraph is relevant. In this case, it didn’t apply to the game where the incident took place.
Women’s games in Britain fall under general public disorder legislation rather than football-specific rules. That means as long as a pitch invader doesn’t commit another offence such as assault or indecent exposure, they’re not going to face significant punishment.
A police presence is usually also absent from women’s matches, unless they have a specific reason for being there.
Interestingly, a note has since been added to the bottom of that piece saying that a group of MPs have written to the sports minister to address the loophole.
Chelsea were held to a 0-0 stalemate in that match, with Kerr having a goal disallowed for offside.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!